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Trends Do guests read the emails you send while they’re staying at your hotel or resort?

photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

The Stash is a year old. And, like a one-year old, we’ve started to learn a few important lessons about “ourselves”. The first is that people love the data we share, but they also want to see these insights in action. In other words, less macro, more micro. Fewer theories, more campaign results.

On that note today, we’re going to dig deeper on an unpublished insight about how many guests we can identify as “in-resort” by looking at campaigns that have targeted these groups and answer the question, “do skiers/resort guests open their emails while they’re at your resort?” Take a look.

The Goods
To find an answer to this question, we took two seasons of data accross multiple resorts that were sending what we call an “in-resort message”. Simply defined, it’s an automated email that is sent to dynamic segments of guests. These segments use data like arrival date or pass scans to determine if who is at a resort right now.

To add some context to the performance of these messages, we’ve included 2011/12 averages for email newsletters. Here’s how opens and clicks looked:

The results are clear: in-resort emails average more than double the open rate and similar click rate as a newsletter. The good news in that department is that many in-resort emails are informative rather than salesy. In other words, they often lack a clickable CTA which likely brings down the click rate a bit.

Also of note is a much more condensed than a open/click distribution than a traditional email with most opens happening within hours of the emails being sent. Indicating guests aren’t just opening but opening while they are still at the resort.

What This Means
Being able to automatically know who is “in-resort” at any given time is one thing, knowing that they’ll actually engage with emails sent to them is another. In-resort messaging is a great vehicle to get time-sensitive offers like lodging discounts, evening events, and food/beverage deals (or a combination of all three) in front of the right people at the right time.

It’s also worth pointing out that this campaign, more than others, needs to be optimized for mobile both in the email as well as the web pages that links in the email point to. This is especially true when you consider how the number of smartphone users has above 50% in some of the key demographics for destination skiers.

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Tyler Maynard
SVP of Business Development
Ski / Golf / Destination Research
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Doug Kellogg
Director of Business Development
Hospitality / Attractions
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